The owner of a rare Ford Falcon XA GT was shocked to discover its sister car sold for a staggering $300,000 – after he bought it in 2003 for $8,000.
A 1973 XA GT RPO 83 hardtop in orange, nicknamed the Chicken Coupe and covered in dust, sold for $300,000 last week after sitting in a shed in Queensland for 30 years.
Mechanic Hagen Zerk owns the sister version of that car, with only two ever being sold in Australia, with his own model in a far better condition.
Mr Zerk’s wife bought the car for him in Ipswich, Queensland, for just $8,000 in 2003 before taking it home to Port Lincoln, South Australia, so he could race it.
‘I had been following the sale [of the Chicken Coupe] and I thought it was gonna go for $150,000 to $200,000 but it went higher,’ Mr Zerk told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I am bit skeptical until someone has it in their hands after an auction. I have been trying to track the buyer, because its the sister car to mine.’
He spent two years, with the help of friends in the industry, restoring the vehicle before he deemed it worth enough to race.
Mr Zerk said it cost $40,000 to strip the car down to the bare metal and perform a complete restoration inside and out.
He said paying someone to do this can cost up to $150,000.
Mr Zerk then started to enter the car into races, but soon noticed the car was getting a lot of attention and its value was starting to rise.
So he withdrew the vehicle from races and started to use it as a showroom vehicle instead.
But that didn’t mean the car was completely off the road.
‘I built it to be used not showed and I am not one to leave it sitting in the shed,’ Mr Zerk said.
‘If it gets worn during use, I can always restore it again and pass it on to my children.’
Mr Zerk said he has driven it to a variety of places – including Ballarat in New South Wales and along Western Australia’s coast line.
Over the years he has had two huge offers on the vehicle.
More than a decade ago a man in Perth tried to buy it and trade another vehicle for the car.
‘I can’t remember how much it was but I remember joking to my wife it was enough to pay off the house and get a jet home,’ Mr Zerk said.
‘But she told me not to tell it. She said I would just get another car.’
A man from New Zealand also made an offer two years ago to purchase the car for an between $200,000 and $300,000.
The sister car to Mr Zerk’s attracted huge attention at the online auction on August 3.
The Falcon is affectionately known as the ‘chicken coupe’ after its owner parked it away in a shed in 1988 and surrounded it with chicken wire to keep it safe.
More than 120,000 people watched the live auction on Grays Online and car specialist Rian Gaffy said it was a sign of what a rare find it was.
‘A lot of the Falcon coupes suffer badly from rust plus a lot of them got written off in crashes and quite a few got stolen so to find a good solid one it is pretty rare,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
Mr Gaffy said while there was rust, panel damage and other issues in the Falcon it was repairable and had ‘the bones’ of a good car.
The car may not even be able to start but that didn’t deter a South Australian man from bidding beyond the expected asking price of $230,000 to pay just over $300,000.